Monday, August 2, 2010

Where Might Niemi Land???

Well the news today out of Chicago is that the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks have decided to let Niemi walk after declining the award he was given in his arbitration case!  The award was $2.75M and the Hawks would have found it very hard to fit that under the Cap so they opted out.  Not that long after the news was announced, the Hawks came out with word that they have signed veteran goalie Marty Turco to a one year deal worth only $1.3M. 

Turco waited and maybe got less money then he wanted but now will most likely be the starting goalie for the defending Stanley Cup champions.  At this point not many players will still be on the Cup team on opening night when the banner is raised.  But the core group of superstars in Keith, Kane, Toews, Seabrook and Sharp are still there so they will still be contenders regardless.

Now the question of where Niemi will go next arises! While I could see him going back to Europe or the KHL for most likely more money, I see him staying in the NHL and trying to lead a different team to the Cup. 

Join me after this for some potential destinations for Niemi:

The teams most likely to land Niemi go as follows, Flyers, Sharks, Islanders, Stars, and maybe even the Thrashers.  The Islanders and Thrashers could both use a little bit of help at goalie and have the cap space to fit in Niemi.  Though I doubt he goes to either teams.  Niemi beat the Flyers in the Cup Finals and are easily one of the top teams to land him especially if he wants to go to a team where he has a chance to return to the finals.  The Sharks would be in the same situation as the Flyers as they lost to the Hawks in the conference finals and Niemi would easily be able to get more revenge on the Hawks.  The Stars seem to be in a little bit of a rebuilding mode and acquired Lehtonen from the Thrashers so they do not necessarily need a goalie but it just seemed like a good fit to me and they might go after him.  The Ducks, Oilers, Lightning, CBJ and even the Caps are all likely possibilities.

In the end I seem him going to the Sharks as they could give him the money he wants, a winning team, and a chance to get revenge on the Blackhawks.  I would not be surprised if Yzerman in Tampa tried to sweep in and steal him though.

No comments:

Post a Comment